good, small zero-clearance fireplaces

Status
Not open for further replies.

Charles2

Member
Jun 22, 2014
247
GA
Can you recommend any makes/models that achieve the following goals:

1. Small size and output, but large enough to accommodate standard 16" firewood.

2. Safe, so intended to be hooked to 6" diameter class A UL 103HT double-wall stainless chimney.

3. Efficient, around 80% AFUE.

4. Clean, meets Washington State emission requirements. Would be great if it could also meet the proposed EPA requirement of 1.3 g/hr.

5. Durable/reliable, so a non-catalytic make/model with a long, unblemished reputation.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,645
South Puget Sound, WA
To get that low in emissions it would probably be a cat stove. BIS Traditions CE is a decent 2 cu ft ZC fireplace. If you want to meet all of your goals put in a nice freestanding stove on a good looking hearth instead.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,645
South Puget Sound, WA
It depends on the stove and the home. This could be just a simple pad and nothing else, or it could be a built up stone, tile or brick hearth base with a complementary wall behind it. Here is an example of a simple install that only required an ember protection hearth pad:
https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/jotul-f55-carrabassett-w-morso-glass-hearth-plate-install-complete.130142/
There are lots of pictures of nice stove installations here:
https://www.hearth.com/gall/v/WoodStoves/

I think you would find a free standing installation more flexible, less expensive and easier than putting in a ZC fireplace and it will heat better.
 

Charles2

Member
Jun 22, 2014
247
GA
It depends on the stove and the home. This could be just a simple pad and nothing else, or it could be a built up stone, tile or brick hearth base with a complementary wall behind it.

I think you would find a free standing installation more flexible...
The floor is a carpeted concrete slab so I could probably just remove the carpet and tile that. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a built up hearth base? I would choose a traditional, formal type of stove to match the formal style of the house.

In what sense is a free standing installation more flexible?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,645
South Puget Sound, WA
Some advantages of a built up hearth base are that it gives a visual break from the rest of the room and it raises the stove door to a more convenient loading height. A freestanding stove allows more choice in the look of the stove. There is a very different look to a steel or cast iron or soapstone stove. A freestanding stove offers more placement options as well. And a freestanding stove has design options that may be appealing. For example, the swing away trivet top on the PE Alderlea stoves offer multiple configurations for cooking, mitten drying, bread raising, etc..
 

Cynnergy

Feeling the Heat
Oct 15, 2012
451
Coast, BC
Hi Charles,

I have read both of your threads, and I think we might be missing some context in order to give advice. We often get people posting who think they want one thing, but their circumstances dictate looking for something else entirely.

What are your overall goals for woodheat? Ambiance, supplemental heating, full time heating? Why are you looking at woodheat? Do you have experience with burning wood or are you a newbie? (No shame in being a newbie - I still consider myself one!)
 

Charles2

Member
Jun 22, 2014
247
GA
Hi Charles,

I have read both of your threads, and I think we might be missing some context in order to give advice. We often get people posting who think they want one thing, but their circumstances dictate looking for something else entirely.

What are your overall goals for woodheat? Ambiance, supplemental heating, full time heating? Why are you looking at woodheat? Do you have experience with burning wood or are you a newbie? (No shame in being a newbie - I still consider myself one!)
I do like the ambiance, but it's mainly for supplemental heating. I'm looking at woodheat because I believe it's the best way to reduce my carbon footprint. Now in my 5th decade, I have of course lit a few fires, but have never chosen or owned a woodburning appliance.
 

Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
I would look into a mid-size (~2 cu ft firebox) cast-iron stove. That will take up much less visible space than an enclosed ZC fireplace (unless you plan a bump-out for the fireplace). Possible options are:
Jotul F500, Quadrafire Explorer 2, Hearthstone Shelburne, Pacific Energy Alderlea T5, or Hampton H300 (albeit being a bit smaller)

Efficiency is highly dependent on operator and using dry wood which is far more important than the numbers posted by the manufacturer, IMHO. Make sure you have wood with an internal moisture content of less than 20% to burn in your stove. Usually, it needs to be split and stacked for one to three years to achieve that.
 

sumpnz

Member
May 16, 2011
68
Skagit County, WA
I started out look at ZC fire places too. However I eventually realized that for the cost of a decent ZC fireplace alone I could do the entire build out and install for a free-standing stove, including flue pipe. Still trying to find the money for that project though. Advantage in some ways is my electricity costs are CHEAP. As long as the heat pump is working right I can heat my 2900sf home and power everything else in the house for $250-300/month in the coldest of winter months. Only thing that's not electric in the house is the stove top (propane). Exclusive wood heat, with free wood, would only save me maybe $800/year (summer power bill is about $100-125/month, about what it would be in winter with wood heat). Take an awful long time to see payback. Still want to do it though.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,645
South Puget Sound, WA
Sorry. I know nothing about the new Superior equivalent.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.